As stamp prices rise…

Steve Bell's cartoon - The Guardian

The price of a first-class stamp has risen  from 46p to 60p in one go. The 14p rise was announced by Royal Mail on the very day it was handed the power to set its own stamp prices for the first time in its 172-year history.

The Royal Mail’s chief executive, Moya Greene, said the state-owned business had no choice but to ramp up first-class prices by 30% and second-class by 39%, having seen its mail collection and delivery unit lose nearly £1bn in four years. Mail volumes have slumped by a quarter since 2006 to 59m letters and parcels a day. – The Guardian

It’s a bit of a blow for a snail mail junkie and student like me. One or two people have told me to give up on my pen pal search, especially any from abroad. (The postage!) However, I think it is even more important to try to keep letters alive, if we all get writing, maybe we can stabilize the stamp prices, stop the Royal Mail from going into jeopardy, save ourselves money in the long run, and feel better for it.

60p is worth it to brighten someone’s day and doormat. I don’t mind paying 60p to hear a paper envelope, heavy with ink and news flop into the dark cylinder of the red pillar box, check briefly the time the post man/lady will collect it and try to imagine the moment that my loved one will hold it in their hands.

I have discovered the Royal Mail website and I really love looking at, and occasionally buying,  the collectible, special issue stamps. I like having novelty stamps for my letters, and always look at the stamp on post I receive, especially if it’s not the standard Queen’s head variety. Look at the current special issue ‘Comic’ stamps featuring The Beano, The Dandy etc. There’s also an option of creating your own personalised photo stamps, which I think would be wonderful for couples for wedding invitations…but have ordered some for my Granda’s 80th birthday which is coming up this month. I found a lovely old black and white passport sized photo of my Granny and Granda to put on them, my Granda’s vision has been deteriorating, but he’s been collecting stamps as long as I can remember so I hope they turn out well and he is able to enjoy them.

I understand that it will be difficult for some, and in a newspaper this week my heart broke to read of a 70-year-old lady who said she would have to ‘think twice’ about writing a letter, now.

I have been getting (finally) some nice replies from people on Interpals, which I initially mistrusted, and I hope to receive a letter from a girl in Germany soon. I’m not sure if I am brave enough to bring out my rusty GCSE French yet, though it would be amazing to learn the language properly and I have got an offer.

Anyway, I urge you friends, not to be deterred completely by this price hike. It doesn’t begin until April 30th, so perhaps buy a nice 6 pack of first class stamps, a ‘book’ before then and keep them in your purse or wallet like @alfiemcduffs and me, for a rainy day, or until we get used to this new recessional hit.

What do you think about this price change? Do you write letters? Would this put you off?

(Please don’t let it!)

EDIT: This is my 100th post! Wow. Thanks for reading.

The obsession grows. More Milk Art.

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Author: Fiona

3 thoughts on “As stamp prices rise…”

  1. I was equally upset to hear about the price increase- it’s just going to put people off and get them to depend on emails and texts more. I intend to carry on writing letters, but it makes me wonder how much longer the writing of snail mail will carry on amongst ‘normal people’, not just businesses and junk mail. Sad times!

    1. I know. But I feel there are lots of people passionate about letters if you look hard enough. Maybe there will be a revolution! Hope so! I met my friend for lunch the other day and she had £50 worth of stamps hidden from her Mum and vowed to buy more every time she got asked in a shop, ha!

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